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2023/2024 Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series


Thursday February 15, 2024 7:30 pm

DETAILS AND HOW TO WATCH: This is an online rebroadcast of Clint Smith & Patricia Smith live event as part of the 2023/2024 Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series. This online event will be accessible from the Inprint website. Details on how to access the reading will be provided to season subscribers. Those who purchase general admission tickets for this rebroadcast event will be provided the viewing link on their Eventbrite email receipt in the “Additional Information” section.

Clint Smith and Patricia Smith will read from their recent poetry collections Above Ground and Unshuttered, followed by an on-stage conversation with Houston Poet Laureate Aris Kian. The evening will conclude with a book sale and signing. The event is presented as part of the 2023/2024 Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series

CLINT SMITH’s 2021 National Book Critics Circle Award winning How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America – “merging memoir, travelogue, and history” (The New York Review of Books) – was a #1 New York Times bestseller, received the Hillman Prize for Book Journalism, and was selected by The New York Times as one of the 10 best books of 2021. His debut poetry collection Counting Descent won the 2017 Literary Award for Best Poetry Book from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and was a finalist for an NAACP Image Award.  His latest collection Above Ground was named a “Most Anticipated Book of 2023” by Time, The Millions, and Elle, and a “Best Poetry Book of 2023” by Book Riot. Monica Youn says his poems “make palpable… the contingent boundaries of love and loss, past and present, sanctuary and violence, ‘us’ and ‘them.’ With inextinguishable generosity and abundant wisdom, he shows us the linkages that both bind and divide us—as family, as community, as nation, as world.” A staff writer at The Atlantic, Clint Smith’s writing has also been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Poetry Magazine, The Paris Review, and elsewhere.

PATRICIA SMITH – poet, teacher, and performance artist – is, according to Terrance Hayes, “a storm of beautiful, frightening talent.” Her eight poetry collections include Incendiary Art, winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Award in Poetry; Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets; Blood Dazzler, a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award; and Teahouse of the Almighty, a National Poetry Series selection. She is a winner of the Poetry Foundation’s 2021 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for Lifetime Achievement and a four-time individual champion of the National Poetry Slam, making her the most successful poet in the competition’s history. She joins us to read from and talk about her new collection Unshuttered, which, with her dexterity with dramatic monologue and poetic form, reanimates a collection of 19th century photographs of Black men, women, and children. As Gregory Orr writes, “Her poems … zip along the textured surface of these worlds and plunge to the soul-depths of the people who inhabit them. And we, her spellbound audience, follow in her sonic wake, grateful to be part of stories so alive with detail and urgent with anguish and purpose.”

ARIS KIAN is a Houston enthusiast and student of abolitionists. Her poems are published with Button Poetry, West Branch, Obsidian Lit, The West Review and elsewhere. She ranks #2 in the 2023 Womxn of the World Poetry Slam and is the 2023-2025 Houston Poet Laureate. She received her MFA from the University of Houston as an Inprint C. Glenn Cambor Fellow where she also was awarded the 2022 Inprint Marion Barthelme Prize in Creative Writing. Aris currently serves as the Narrative Change & Media Manager at Houston in Action.